USA Basketball faced off against the Dominican Republic last night at Madison Square Garden. The big news was the late scratch of Derrick Rose, amid rumbles about sore knees — the same knees Rose had major surgeries performed on. But Kyrie Irving, the ostensible USA sixth man, started in his place and showed off why the Cavs signed him to a max deal to star alongside LeBron in Cleveland.
On the night, Irving was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free throw line for 12 points, five assists and four rebounds in just 16 minutes of action.
On one play, midway through the second quarter and with the U.S. comfortably ahead by 15 points, Irving waved off screens from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins to take the Dominican Republic’s Juan Coronado off the dribble.
A couple between-the-leg dribbles, a shimmy to his right followed by that gorgeous crossover, and Irving got plenty of separation to rise up for the smooth jumper.
While Rose was noticeably absent, Kyrie got a chance to start and definitely shined when given the opportunity.
This is being billed as a coach's decision to give more of a look to other players as cuts approach. Kyrie Irving starts in place of Rose
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 20, 2014
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.